May Clean Energy Headlines

Every month, we sift through hundreds of news items and research reports about clean, renewable energy to bring the best ones directly to you.

The US tops 2 million solar installations. It took 40 years for the US to reach 1 million solar installations (also called photovoltaic or PV). Just three years later, in 2019, the US hit 2 million. Solar is taking off at an accelerating rate. Wood Mackenzie, the firm that authored the research, predicts the US will top three million installations is just two years.

graph from wood mackenzie showing the growth in us solar installations

Renewables to top coal generation for first time in April/May. According to the US Energy Information Association (EIA), electricity generated from solar, wind and hydro will exceed electricity from coal in April and May of this year. This is based on a combination of coal plants being serviced and seasonally strong wind and sun. Nonetheless, it’s a huge milestone for clean energy (Utility Drive).

Floating solar panels excel where land is scarce. Though not without limitations, floating solar panels provide an opportunity to generate clean energy in places where it wouldn’t otherwise be feasible. The technology hasn’t seen wide use in the US, but it is estimated that floating solar panels on even a small fraction of suitable US sites could supply up to 10 percent of our current total electricity generation. (Greentech Media)

May articles from the Freeing Energy Project

Graph of solar wind and batteries droppingFive trends that will lead to the end of fossil fuels 
Individually, these five trends are methodically driving the largest energy transition in history. Taken together, however, they build on each other and accelerate the pace of change. (read more)


smoke and pollution come from stacks

How much CO2 and pollution comes from burning coal?
The byproducts of burning coal have come to dominate the conversation surrounding the transition to clean energy. But what do these byproducts look like? (read more).



A calendar, a bulb and a pile of coalHow much coal does it take to power a 100 watt lightbulb for a year?
It’s difficult to visualize energy consumption. Let’s break it down to a manageable size and see just how much goes into powering a single light. (read more).


Miners at an anthracite rallyEver wonder why we use so much coal? America was built on it.
Coal has played a crucial role in America since the industrialization of the 1800s. But as America has evolved, we have remained tethered to this archaic form of energy production. (read more).

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Podcast #012 – Dr. Deepak Divan: The century-old grid is evolving. How will we manage it?

Dr Deepak Divan and his podcast on power electronics

Host Bill Nussey talks with Dr. Deepak Divan, Director of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Distributed Energy, about the role of power electronics and his view of the future grid as a digitized and decentralized ecosystem.

Podcast #011 – Jeff Chamberlain: Are batteries the final puzzle piece for a clean energy grid?

Host Bill Nussey talks with CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, Jeff Chamberlain, about the path to safer and much lower cost batteries.




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